Canberra (November 21, 2018): Australian Muslim leaders said Wednesday they would boycott a meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison after he said they needed to do more to halt terror attacks in the country.
Morrison singled out Muslim community leaders as having a “special responsibility” to counter “the radical and dangerous ideology of extremist Islam” following a terror attack in Melbourne earlier this month that left two dead.
“They must be proactive, they must be alert and they must call this out,” Morrison said, adding that he would hold a round table meeting with Muslim leaders this week to discuss the problem.But Australian Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohamed and a group of other senior Muslim figures rejected the invitation in an open letter to Morrison Wednesday.
The men said they were “deeply concerned and disappointed” with comments by Morrison and other ministers “which infer that the community is collectively culpable for the criminal actions of individuals and should be doing more to prevent such acts of violence”.
“We all have responsibilities to make Australia safe, and that means making sure Muslim communities do not become infiltrated with this dangerous ideology,” he tweeted.
[5/6] I expect all leaders in Australia, whatever religion they come from, or whatever community they represent, to do everything they can to keep Australians safe.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) November 21, 2018
The terror threat has calls from some conservatives for a further toughening of Australia’s already tight immigration laws, raising concerns among the Muslim community.
In their letter the Islamic leaders, who head community groups in several Australian states, said they would attend a later meeting with Morrison if their “views and concerns will be genuinely respected”.